Sky Player enables you to watch Sky satellite TV content on any PC in the UK, even if you're not a Sky subscriber.

With Sky Player you can access the latest Sky Sports highlights, including Premier League and Champions League football. The service also offers a selection of more than 500 films, entertainment shows such as Lost, Prison Break and Gladiators, documentaries from the National Geographic Channel and lifestyle and culture shows from Sky Arts and Sky Real Lives.

Non-Sky subscribers are offered the Sky Player content for a fee, starting at £1 per episode or £5 per month for sports highlights, while subscribers are offered some content for free – what they get depends on their subscription package. For example, Movies Mix customers can watch any of the 500 or so Sky movies for free but pay for sport and entertainment. All Sky subscribers can access current-affairs coverage for free.

Unlike other services we've trialled, we weren't able to use a credit card directly to purchase Sky Player downloads. We had to use our card to purchase Sky Player credits instead. These could then be spent on downloads. As with most of the other services we looked at, programmes couldn't be burned to DVD and were viewable only on the PC to which they were downloaded.

We were given 30 days to watch the Sky Player shows as much as we wanted before they expired. And parents can set a PIN to prevent kids watching view adult content.


Given this spring's Freesat launch, which also offers non-subscription Sky content but requires a hardware setup and installation cost, we think Sky Player is a smart move, fairly priced.